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  • Writer's pictureKate Fulford

Elevate Your Home's Appeal: The Art of Staging and Styling

Welcome to the world of alluring living, where style reigns supreme and creativity takes center stage. As a creative real estate agent, I'm here to spill the beans on a little secret that will make your home irresistible to the most discerning buyers. Let’s explore the benefits of staging and styling your home. And take a peek behind the scenes on how it all works!

  1. Make em’ Swoon: In the world of real estate, first impressions are everything. Staging and styling your home is like giving it a red-carpet makeover.  The goal is to instantly captivate potential buyers from the moment they see the photos online. With the right furniture, accessories, and a touch of magic, we'll transform your property into a show-stopping masterpiece that leaves potential buyers weak in the knees.

  1. Accentuate the Fabulous: Every home has unique architectural elements and features that deserve to be emphasized. We can’t let those stunning architectural elements go unnoticed; let's give them the spotlight they deserve! Whether it's a majestic fireplace or stylish bathroom tile, staging and styling will ensure these features get the standing ovation they deserve. It's like having your own personal interior design paparazzi capturing every fabulous angle.

  1. Create a Lifestyle Narrative: Style-conscious clients aren't just looking for a roof over their heads – they're searching for a home that reflects their lifestyle. With cleverly chosen furnishings, art, and decor, we'll create a visual story that speaks to their aspirations and desires. Get ready to make them feel like they've stepped into the pages of a glossy magazine.

  1. Maximizing Space and Flow: One of the key benefits of staging is the ability to maximize the space and flow of your home. Even if your home isn't exactly a sprawling mansion, fear not! Styling can work wonders, creating an optical illusion of space that would make Houdini proud. By strategically placing mirrors, arranging furniture like a game of Tetris, and sprinkling some fairy dust (just kidding, it's probably just glitter), we'll make sure your home is shown in a way that feels amazing.

  1. Emotions: Making Hearts Flutter: Homebuyers often make decisions based on emotions. Because let's face it – we're all emotional creatures. And when it comes to buying a home, emotions play a major role. Staging and styling allows us to tap into those heartstrings, creating an ambiance that evokes all the right feels. Think carefully curated designs, color schemes that make you weak at the knees, and textures that make you want to snuggle up and never leave. Our goal is to create an emotional connection that lasts.

  1. Cha-ching! Increased Market Value: Who doesn't love a good return on investment? Staging and styling your home isn't just about creating a jaw-dropping space – it's also a savvy financial move. Studies have shown that staged homes sell faster and at higher price points. So, by gifting your property with a glamorous makeover, you're not only wowing potential buyers or renters, but you're also setting the stage for a sweet financial victory dance.

  1. The Secret Sauce - Expertise to Ignite Delight: As your go-to real estate maestro, I bring a unique blend of expertise, style, and a sprinkle of panache to the table. With a little black book filled with the most talented stagers and designers in town, I guarantee your home will shine brighter than a disco ball on New Year's Eve. Trust me, darling – your property will be the talk of the town.

So - you’re sold in STAGING. Of Course it’s a good idea!  But how exactly does it work? Most of the time, the stagers tour your home and we review what style would best fit the home. We visit each room to determine the best way to stage to appeal to the ideal buyer. We review a bid, book our dates and they come in and work their magic.  

But what if you still live in the house?  Can we still stage? YES! This is a great option if we just need to spruce up the home so it looks best for photos and showings. There is a big difference between how we live each day  and what is optimal for selling; the goals are very different.  I have worked with stagers to update bedding, lamps, adding artwork and plants - and minimizing personal belongings. We often move furniture around so it best highlights the features of the home and makes the home feel spacious.


But I thought it would be fun to learn a little more about what happens behind the scenes.  Check out my interview with two of my favorite stages, Erin + Megan from Appetite Interiors.

Q: Walk me through how you prep for staging a new listing (based on house? available furniture? color scheme?)

A: We usually start with a general color scheme and try to stick to it throughout the house.  This is often dictated by existing colors in the house. We consider interior wall colors, exterior paint colors and trim and then to coordinate from there.  Sometimes, we have something new in our inventory: a rug or a piece of art that helps spark that design.  We are often at the mercy of what we have in stock in our warehouse, but if we have a lot of notice before an install, we earmark special pieces that will go to that listing.  Sometimes we get direction from the listing agent or owner- a style theme like "Hollywood Regency" or 'lean into antiques' and we build from there.

Q: how do you keep track of all your items at multiple houses and upcoming listings?

A: Photos, photos, photos!  and overloaded brain space!

Q: How do you store/organize items in your warehouse?

A: In our warehouse we have general departments-decor, art, soft goods like pillows and blankets, etc.  We have skylights in the warehouse that we try to keep the plants under when they aren't in use. The remaining areas are filled with tall pallet racks with furniture floor to ceiling.  This job is very physical, lots of moving furniture around. 

Q: Tell me about where you find items?

A: We owned a shop on E Burnside for 11 years and sold vintage, handmade and plants.  We kept some of our favorite pieces for our staging inventory and we still source new pieces from our top secret second-hand sources.  We prioritize buying second-hand and vintage, it's generally more unique, more affordable and often better quality and more sustainable.

We also buy or rent some of our favorite decor pieces from Cargo, where we currently have our retail space. 

Q: I know you make items - what is your process? Is it based on a specific house?

A: We have a backlog of "project" furniture, pieces that need upholstering, sanding or painting. Often having an upcoming job is the motivation to finish a project we've had in mind and gives us a direction for what the fabric or color should be.  We also make a fair amount of the art in our inventory, paintings and prints- Erin was an art major and enjoys having an outlet for creating these pieces. 

We make most of our throw pillows, this helps us have the colors we want to incorporate easily on hand and it's pretty simple to whip up something for a specific house.  

Q: What is your favorite era of home to stage?

A: We generally like an older home 50+ years more than a new build, mainly because they are more unique and have fun quirks.  But there are ways to add quirks and character to a new build with furniture and decor. 

Q: Favorite part of this job?  Least favorite?

A: We love the opportunity to go into so many homes with this job.  Often, when we do the initial walk-through, we get to see how the homeowner lives-their unique art, decor or layout.  That really helps to inform us from a design perspective. It's like when you go to your friend's beautiful home and get inspired by how they live, people make different design decisions and that is always fun to experience.   

It's also really fun to see the house once it is staged.  We spend hours planning and packing for it and it's always exciting to see the end result.  Sometimes it looks just like we expect and sometimes it is different, but wonderful. 

Sometimes we get to work with some of the homeowner's pieces (usually furniture or art) for a listing and that is usually a really nice break from working only with our inventory, it usually challenges us to work with different styles or color-ways. 

Our least favorite part is probably packing....there is always so much packing!

Q: Any other fun tidbits??

A: We've made  some really fun and sustaining connections from staging people's homes; there is a magical feeling about transforming a space.

We've never made the exact same bed twice- there are so many combinations and possibilities and we like to keep it fun. 

Now that we've unraveled the secrets of staging and styling, it's time to transform your home into a masterpiece that leaves everyone breathless. By infusing wit, charm, and a touch of uniqueness into the process, we'll create a space that captures hearts, minds, and maybe even Instagram likes. So, if you’re ready to sell, reach out and we'll make your home shine brighter than a shooting star. Let's make some real estate magic happen!  

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